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Ukrainian PM Hopeful Lighthouse Dispute With Russia Will Be Settled

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yekhanurov (file photo) (epa) 21 January 2006 -- Ukraine's Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov has expressed confidence that a dispute with Russia over ownership of Black Sea lighthouses will be settled when he meets with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov in mid-February.

Addressing reporters after meeting with Russian nuclear officials in Kyiv on 21 January, Yekhanurov said that the Ukrainian government does not want the controversy to heighten.

Ukrainian officials on 13 January took possession of a Russian-manned lighthouse at a commercial port, in Yalta.

Moscow says the raid contravened a 1997 agreement relating to the stationing of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimean ports.

Kyiv argues that all navigational facilities in the Crimea belong to Ukraine's central government.

(ITAR-TASS, Unian, 5-iy Kanal)

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